Canadian Self-Stereotypes

Celebration by Kenny Louie
Celebration by Kenny Louie

To follow up on the article about the most common stereotypes that the international community tends to share when talking about Canadians, let’s take a closer look at the stereotypes we’ve created about ourselves. The self-stereotypes that each nation develops are amusing to collect — by a mysterious coincidence, they are almost exclusively of a positive nature. These myths often serve as a source of national pride, and Canada is no exception here. How do we view our country and what are some of the most popular national myths to which we like to subscribe?

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  1. Canadians enjoy living in a truly multicultural society and are generally very tolerant. We don’t force immigrants to assimilate, and we promote cultural and linguistic diversity.
  2. We are extremely well-behaved, polite, and respectful toward others. We apologize a lot and have very refined manners.
  3. Canadians are very environmentally conscious and don’t ever litter. We protect our wildlife and go green as much as we can. Whenever there is a transnational corporation trying to destroy our precious environment, we manage to stop them by actions taken by our well-developed civil society.
  4. Most people in Canada are moderates and resent extremes of any kind.
  5. Canadians aren’t nationalists, and our preferable form of patriotism is rather subdued. For sure, any attempt at nationalist propaganda would be given a hard time here.
  6. We are socially conscious, and our government offers a helping hand to the poor and underprivileged. We are very charitable and often volunteer to help a good cause.
  7. Canadians are popular around the world. When travelling, it is always important to stress our Canadian origin to get distinguished from the Americans. We are especially welcome in Europe, where people appreciate similarities with our culture.
  8. Canadians don’t particularly understand the heroic culture of some of the other nations. We respect our honourable countrymen, but see no reason to adore them and turn them into icons.
  9. Canadians are in better shape and generally enjoy better education than Americans. Basically, we have a greater share of fit, young intellectuals than other countries do.
  10. We resent militarism and we would never ever start a war.
  11. Canadian artistic achievements, especially in the cinema, are superior to those of the US, which are generally much more commercial.

Now, looking at the list, what do you think? How many of these are actually true? Can you think of any other popular myths I forgot to mention?

One Response

  1. Y2K Blackout

    1. Mostly true.
    2. Somewhat true.
    3. Somewhat true.
    4. True.
    5. Neutral.
    6. Mostly true.
    7. Don’t know.
    8. Somewhat false.
    9. Mostly true.
    10. Mostly true.
    11. Mostly false.


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